By Alva M. Wolokolie
After tendering his resignation about a week ago to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, sources confided in this paper said that Public Works Minister Samuel Kofi Woods has finally made up his mind to take on the advocacy of social justice and human rights.
Minister Woods wrote in a discourse last February 2013 in observance of the late Archbishop Emeritus, Michael K. Francis’ 77th birthday assuring him that his legacy will continue to live on.
Woods has refused to comment on his reported resignation from government because he is currently mourning the death of his mentor, Archbishop Michael Kpakala Francis who died last Sunday May 19, 2013 at about 10:00 a.m.
Woods, an Attorney-At-Law thanked the President for the opportunity given him to serve in her government and also expressed his deep respect and admiration for her leadership.
Sources at the Executive Mansion have confirmed the resignation of Minister Woods but unconfirmed report says President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is still appealing to the Minister whom she considers as one of her trusted confidants to stay on the job.
But an insider at the Ministry of Public Works has told the INQUIRER that Minister Woods has vowed not to leave the public sector and return to the private sector where he originally came from.
Our sources told this paper that Woods has been uncomfortable with President Sirleaf led government policy and how concession agreements are managed.
The source also revealed that Minister Woods is frustrated over some comments made by individuals against peaceful citizens including the media which has assisted to ensure social justice; equality, democracy and freedom enjoyed by everyone. The issue of corruption and threats against the media was also highlighted as some of the reasons given for the Minister’s resignation.
Woods is expected to continue the legacy of his mentor Bishop Francis by revamping the Catholic owned Justice and Peace Commission (JPC), the re-opening of the Catholic radio (Radio Veritas) and an establishment of a Law Society seeking redress for those massive who may not have the means to justice.
Woods successfully transformed the Labor Ministry and worked tirelessly to repeal inhumane laws before President Sirleaf asked him to take over the Public Works Ministry which has been ill-fated for some time under the leadership of a trained engineer from the United States, Mr. Losini Donzo.
Many Liberian described Woods’ new job at the Public Works at the time as a “complete misplacement” because he was not an engineer but in three years, Minister Woods became an award-winning asset to the country’s post war recovery thus proving to his critics that he did not need a degree in engineering to efficiently administer the infrastructural division of government.
In three years plus, Woods has taken reconstruction and construction to nearly all parts of the country. During his tenure, the former Vai Town Bridge now King Zolu Duma Bridge, the Monrovia-Buchanan Highway were constructed.
Also under his stewardship, rehabilitation and pavement of several neighbourhood roads including the GSA, Neezoe-Necklay’s Town-Parker Paint, Caldwell-Louisiana Road, Duport Road to Parker Paint as well as AB Tolbert and Jamaica Roads.
Other places of work include; the Voinjama-Vahun Road which has been cut off for more than 15 years; the S.K.D Boulevard to 72nd Road and the on-going pavement of the Red-Light –Gbarnga, and Gbarnga-Ganta-Guinea border Road among others.